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Central coast happenings

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The central coast of California is a great place to be any time of year, but is especially delightful during the winter months.

This week I would like to focus on special ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, whether with family, friends, or just for couples.

On Feb. 14, at 10:00 a.m. the Guadalupe Dunes center will host the 3rd annual Huell Howser Memorial Nature Walk at Oso Flaco Lake State Park, 2905 Oso Flaco Lake Road, Nipomo 93444. This free event will be fun for the entire family and memorializes a great man who highlighted the central coast, including Vandenberg AFB, in his PBS show, "California's Gold." Call 805-343-2455 for further information.

Also on Feb. 14, D'Vine Wine Bar and Bistro, 107 W. Ocean Ave, Lompoc, will feature a performance by Jacob Cole at 7:30 p.m. Jacob, a Lompoc favorite, is a great singer/songwriter. The event is free. Please call 805-430-8356 for more information.

The Damon Castillo Band, one of the most popular bands on the central coast, will perform on Feb. 14 at the Steynberg Gallery, 1531 Monterey St, in San Luis Obispo. Damon will perform his funky originals in an intimate setting. This is sure to be a romantic evening. Please call 805-547-0278 for more information.

Don't let the clouds and rain of late winter keep you from enjoying the fresh produce that continues to be available in our area. As another Valentine's Day treat, enjoy fresh strawberries and other fresh items from the Arroyo Grande Farmer's Market, 215 Branch St., Arroyo Grande, Saturday, Feb. 14 from noon until 2:30 p.m. Call 805-544-9570 for specifics.

Of course, the San Luis Obispo Downtown Farmer's Market, each Thursday 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Higuera Street in SLO, is not to be missed. The SLO Downtown Association hosts the event and can be reached at 805-541-0286. This is a great family activity that offers lots of food, fun, entertainment and is free!

We are extremely fortunate to have the Cabrillo High School Aquarium in Lompoc. The Aquarium is a working educational institution organized and maintained by volunteers, most of them students. An open house at the Aquarium on Feb. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. will highlight the new shark and tropical reef exhibits. Please call 805-742-2888. The event is free.

Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts (PCPA) returns this month with Peter and the Starcatcher, the grownup's prequel to Peter Pan. Opening night is Feb. 12 and the show runs through March 1. PCPA, professional conservatory theater, produces amazing performances at the Marian Theater on the Allan Hancock College campus in Santa Maria. Tickets are $15.50-$39.50. Please call (805) 922-8313 or visit www.pcpa.org for more information.

The central coast is full of ways to celebrate special occasions, like Valentine's Day. Enjoy our area, but please celebrate responsibly. Always have a plan and be safe. Happy Valentine's Day!